New £20 note featuring Margate and JMW Turner goes into circulation

Victoria Pomery OBE, Director of Turner Contemporary, with the 'Turner Contemporary' £20 note

The new £20 note, featuring JMW Turner, comes into circulation today (February 20).

A large see-through window with a blue and gold foil on the front depicts Turner Contemporary and the Margate lighthouse, among other elements associated with the artist. Turner Contemporary is the first contemporary building to feature on a UK bank note.

Photo Paul Trindall

Victoria Pomery OBE, Director of Turner Contemporary said: “We are thrilled to feature on the new £20 note which centres on Turner Contemporary’s namesake, JMW Turner (1775 – 1851), who was a regular visitor to Margate in his lifetime. Turner’s legacy runs through everything we do – from our architecture, to our world-class programme of contemporary and historical exhibitions to our work with children and young people. Being featured on the new £20 note is a truly exceptional moment in our journey. Placing JMW Turner at the heart of this celebrates the vital role that arts and creativity play in our lives.”

In October 2019, at Turner Contemporary, the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, unveiled the design of the new £20 note. Commenting on the new note

He said: “Our banknotes celebrate the UK’s heritage, salute its culture, and testify to the achievements of its most notable individuals. And so it is with the new £20 banknote, featuring JMW Turner, launched today at Turner Contemporary in Margate. Turner’s contribution to art extends well beyond his favourite stretch of shoreline. Turner’s painting was transformative, his influence spanned lifetimes, and his legacy endures today. The new £20 note celebrates Turner, his art and his legacy in all their radiant, colourful, evocative glory.”

Photo Paul Trindall

To celebrate the new £20 note coming into circulation, Turner Contemporary is asking people to donate £20 to support the gallery’s work and future programme as it counts down to its 10th anniversary in 2021.

The next exhibition, The Tourists: Ellen Harvey & JMW Turner (Friday May 22 – Sunday, September 6), will feature 17 works by JMW Turner.

The Margate Santander is one of 13 branches stocking the new note.


Online: Donate online via

Cash: Bring your old £20 note to Turner Contemporary and place it in one of the donation boxes

Contactless: Give via the contactless donation point when you next visit Turner Contemporary